This is a popular adage, appearing in diverse languages, to express the conventional wisdom that it is possible to deduce much about a person’s character—whether good or bad—based upon the company that person keeps. The people with whom we spend a considerable amount of time tend to have a profound influence on our thoughts and actions. Of course, these types of adages do not need to be intentionally applied to be true. Sometimes, to our detriment, we limit our circle of influence to the point that its collective voice overshadows other potentially important ones we inadvertently fail to consider.

A connection can be drawn between the truth of this adage and the way we read and interpret Scripture. We tend to be attracted to characters of the Bible with whom we have a sense of affinity and to sections of the Bible containing words that somehow satisfy a desire or...

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